[ExI] Health system, again

Lee Corbin lcorbin at rawbw.com
Wed Apr 9 04:28:54 UTC 2008

Damien also wrote

To: "ExI chat list" <extropy-chat at lists.extropy.org>
Sent: Friday, April 04, 2008 9:51 AM

> At 10:35 AM 4/4/2008 -0500, I quoted Krugman:
>> As Mrs. Edwards pointed out, the McCain health
>> plan would do nothing to prevent insurance
>> companies from denying coverage to those, like
>> her and Mr. McCain, who have preexisting medical conditions.
> Barbara Lamar points out to me that <"Insurance" is not really 
> insurance if the event it's expected to protect against already has a 
> probability of 1.>
> True. The part of the quoted sentences to place emphasis on is 
> "health care plan" or system rather than "insurance" which is a 
> mechanism.  If everyone is covered from conception or birth on, 
> nobody (yet) knows what maladies will arise for any individual.

Yes, it's an extremely perverse use of the word "insurance" as
a euphemism for "national or tax-funded health care system".
(Hmm, I guess that is the phrase I should use since the "s"
word arouses sensitivities in many.) 

> Does this mean those whose choices predictably *make* them sick or 
> damaged get a free handout at the expense of the rest? I certainly 
> resent that as well, but there might be subtle cost-benefit 
> calculations that produce non-intuitive minimax solutions.

Oh, it's a difficult choice, all right. In any system of national,
tax-funded medical care, there will end up being bureaucrats
who make the hard decisions about who gets what expensive
treatments. Do you really expect the son of a senator to be
treated with the same lack of deference a typical semiretired
software engineer would be?  There is a record of a certain
baseball player---I forget who---who was put at the head of
the list for some state or federally funded medical treatment
a few years back. You'll never root out that kind of corruption.

I say let the contracts be written, literal, and binding (and
strongly enforced by the government) between those who
legitimately want insurance for whatever they're afraid of.
And if you are unlucky enough to be born with a condition
that *predictably* at age 40 will start to require $100,000
or $10,000,000 treatments each month to overcome, well,
better then to have been of economic utility to other 
people and have become rich.


More information about the extropy-chat mailing list